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The SLP’s Ultimate Guide to Google Calendar

If you follow me on social media at all, then you know that I have a planner obsession! (I can't admit how many paper planners I own, because you might not want to keep reading...!) Despite my inability to stick with a paper planner, Google Calendar has always been a "go-to" for me. I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my favorite "tricks" when it comes to using Google Calendar.

Google Calendar can be a busy SLP's best friend! If you don't use Google Calendar as your planner, then you're seriously missing out on a lot of automated, time-saving features to help keep you organized and on track. Click through to read why I love Google Calendar and all the ways I use it in my speech therapy room!

Before we jump in, let's chat about some of the reasons why I love Google Calendar...

  • It syncs! I love being able to access my calendar anywhere.
  • It makes collaboration easy.
  • Drag and drop is my favorite. No more messy planner pages on "those" weeks when you have to reschedule all of your meetings.
  • It's free!

Okay, now for the tips...

1. Notifications

I set up my therapy schedule on Google Calendar for a number of reasons, but one of my favorite "perks" is the notifications. Before I set up my calendar electronically, I missed a few sessions because I lost track of time...! I set up notifications for each "event," and now I don't miss a thing! I synced my calendar with my watch so I get a reminder a few minutes before each session.

2. Repeat Appointments

Now, none of us have time to set this up every week. Enter repeat appointments! You can easily set your appointments to repeat. This is great for therapy sessions and routine tasks (e.g., Medicaid billing, paperwork time, therapy planning).

3. Teacher Invites

This year I added teachers to the "events," and it's been surprisingly helpful! It was a great way to make sure that we were on the same page. They can also choose to receive notifications. I love this because it means that more students are coming to see me on their own!

4. Scheduling Meetings

If you can get your team on board, it's really easy to schedule meetings. You can share calendars with each other and easily see when everyone is available.

Stay tuned to see how you can use Google for scheduling therapy sessions!

5. Color Coding

So, I'm a big fan of color coding. You can create separate calendars on Google, but you can also color code individual events. The possibilities are endless! You can code by teacher, grade, group type, service delivery model... Whatever floats your boat!

6. To Do Lists

I also like being able to fill in my calendar with other "to do" items. I usually sit down at the end of the week and review what needs to get done the following week (usually a lot of paperwork!). I usually add the tasks in as "full day events." Whenever I have some down time, I start tackling those tasks. It's also nice because I can drag and drop really important events into a specific time slot. I also do this with Medicaid billing. If I don't schedule it, I tend to avoid it...!

7. Add Links

When I'm planning for therapy, I might add in a link to a reading passage or other digital resource. I use the Calendar app on my iPad, so I can easily click on the link when the notification pops up. This is one of my favorite time- (and paper-) savers.

8. Print and Go

You can also print your schedule. I don't typically print my schedule every week, but I've had to share my schedule with administrators. This is an easy way to do so!

There you have it! Feel free to share any other Google Calendar "hacks" in the comments below!

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